My walls just got a lot prettier thanks to CANVAS ON DEMAND!

When I started this blog a few short months ago I thought it would just be a fun place for me to share my too-long-for-Facebook status updates. But turns out being a blogger has many benefits, including working with amazing companies on product reviews! …and this has to be one of my favorites so far… I connected with Canvas on Demand a few weeks ago and sent them one of my favorite pictures of Jaylin and Dylan. They sent me this…
…a 16×20 Traditional Thick Wrap Canvas! The picture quality is great… my girls couldn’t look prettier! We have three other canvas prints in our house, two came from Artsy Canvas and the third from Shutterfly. All three companies offer great customer service and excellent picture quality, but I noticed a few things about Canvas on Demand that set them apart.
They allow you to choose what the sides of your canvas look like. You can choose black, white, image wrap or image blur. I chose black and I love the way it looks!
 They also trim the canvas image so that the edge can be stapled to the wood frame. The other two companies wrapped the canvas and left the extra hanging over the frame. Not a big deal, except that if the canvas falls off the wall (you know, if one of your kids runs by and yanks it down!), the overlap can get caught on the nail. One of our family canvases was knocked off fell off the wall and almost got a hole in it because the nail caught that overlap.
They also include an alligator hanger, making it that much easier to hang right away. Other two companies didn’t do that either.
 I waited all of about five minutes before I found this beauty a spot on my wall!
 You know those pictures you have saved on your computer just waiting to be printed? Now’s your chance! You can use code CANVAS30AFF at Canvas on Demand to get 30% off your order! I promise you will not be disappointed!
*I received this product to review at no cost to me. I was not paid for this post and the opinions, as always, are all my own.
This post may contain affiliate/referral links and I will be compensated if you click them and/or make purchases after doing so.*

 

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Did you plan to have so many kids?

That question. Also comes in Do you know what causes that? Don’t you have cable TV? Was that an accident? Are you Catholic? Are you trying to catch up to the Duggars?

Our first visit to Science Museum Oklahoma! If you haven’t been, you should go!

Listen, plans are great. I’m a planner. I plan my grocery lists, road trips, weekly meals… but controlling how many babies I had and when was never in my control. I couldn’t plan it, even if I wanted to… and I did want to.

I got pregnant for the first time about 4 months after we started trying. I miscarried at 8 weeks. It was 13 months after that miscarriage before I got pregnant again. We did nothing to prevent getting pregnant and tried everything (aside from medical intervention) to try to make it happen. We had decided we were ready for a baby, and it took more than 2 years for her to come. It was by far the most frustrating time of my life. Every woman I knew was pregnant, including my sister. This wasn’t my plan, and it was hard.

When Jaylin came home, we were over the moon. I never gave a second thought to wanting her to have siblings. I fully expected it to take a long time, but excitedly found out I was pregnant with Zander when she was just 5 months old. Also not my plan.

When Enzo was born, Jaylin was almost 3 and Zander was almost 2. We were living in a small, two bedroom house and I was exhausted and stressed. I suffered from postpartum depression and had to be medicated for a few months. I felt embarrassed and didn’t want anybody to know. That was definitely not my plan.

I found out I was pregnant with Roman right after Enzo’s first Christmas. Enzo was just 5 months old. I cried. We had made a little effort at birth control after Enzo was born, but pills made me sick and we’re honestly just too inconsistent for the ‘other’ methods. Very clearly, not. my. plan.

After Roman was born I remember thinking ‘This is it! Our family is complete and perfect.’ And then… Jaylin started praying for a sister. And the more I heard her sweet prayers every night, I started praying for her a sister too. Enter Dylan. Sort of a plan.

So to answer your questions:

I always wanted a big family, but didn’t have the game plan mapped out.

We do happen to know that sex causes pregnancy and are aware there are ways to improve your chances of preventing it.

We subscribe to Dish Network & Netflix, but I’m convinced either of the two are more prone to cause pregnancy than prevent it.

I refuse to believe that any child is an accident. Cliché, I know… but for real.

We’re Baptist.

We have zero interest in being followed around by cameras and/or being on TV, bringing back 80’s bangs, driving a commercial-sized van, or eating tater tot casserole.

Now I know the next question: ARE YOU DONE? If you must know, Micah has had a vasectomy… but adoption has and never will be off the table for us, and God is in the surprise miracle business, so stay tuned!

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Do I look like Kate Hudson yet? – a Fabletics Review

Despite being a typical avoider of all things active, I love me some activewear! So naturally I’ve found myself cruising around Kate Hudson’s Fabletics website more times than I’d like to admit. I started filling out my profile back in November, but chickened out when I got to the ‘give me your money’ part. A short while later I got a little extra motivation to complete the sign-up in the form of 75% off my first outfit! I couldn’t resist!


I had a great selection of outfits (all under $15!) to choose from. I picked the Salar Capri in Arctic/Black sub (regular $49.95, VIP price $34.95) and the Olympus tank in Perfect Peak Black (regular $34.95, VIP price $24.95).
My grand total with tax and shipping was $12.49.
…and both pieces fit me! I don’t love to wear tight on top and tight on bottom. So I’d probably never wear these two together, but I do like them. Both pieces are decent quality; I’d compare them to the Target brand activewear, which I happen to love. And for $12.49? Yep, I’m happy.
Now, to get the great pricing on your first outfit you’ll have to sign up for their VIP program. Basically, you are committing to a monthly subscription. They’ll send you an email at the beginning of the month with a bunch of outfits to choose from. Prices start $49.95 for a complete outfit. You can choose to skip the month if you want to. If you don’t skip the month and don’t pick an outfit to purchase, you will be charged $49.95. It will sit in your account as a credit. I skipped the month of January to buy some time for me to decide what to do next.
There’s just no way I could justify to Mr. Stewart that I needed to spend $50 a month on activewear to wear while being non-active, so I reluctantly called to cancel. I’ve heard from others that have tried this service that cancellation is a pain. Mine went something like this:
‘Hey, I need to cancel my VIP membership.’
‘Okay, I’m sorry to hear that, may I ask why?’
(sadly) ‘Finances.’
‘Is there anything we can do to make you stay?’
‘Nope.’
‘Okay then, please know you can still make purchases at Fabletics.com and sign back up for a VIP membership at any time.’
I paraphrased, but that’s pretty much it. Bet I wasn’t on the phone more than 3 minutes. No extra charges on my card. No problems.
 I made Micah take pictures of me trying some of Kate Hudson’s poses from the ads (with full intention of sharing here, but – hahaha – nope!) It turns out I look NOTHING like her, even with the outfit. Bummer. But seriously, customer service was great, clothes were good, and, believe it or not, the outfit (along with failing the Kate-Hudson-wannabe poses) encouraged me to go join Planet Fitness. Not kidding. That’s a whole ‘nother post, but let me just tell you – they have massage chairs.
***This post contains affiliate/referral links and I will get credit and/or make a small commission if you make purchases after clicking these links, but the opinions in this post are ALL my own!***


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Faithbox: January Box Review

A friend told me about Faithbox a while back, and I was intrigued… and then they sent me their January box to review! I was so excited to see what was in it!

First thing included is this little booklet. It tells about the mission of Faithbox, explains the meaning and reasoning behind everything that’s in the box, and highlights the companies who produced the goods. It also features people and organizations with a similar mission to Faithbox (BC Serna & A21 made an appearance in this month’s booklet).
MyIntent Bracelet
‘…commit to knowing your purpose – owning it, living it, and sharing it.’
This bracelet can be purchased here ($12)! You can choose from several different colors and pick any word you want on your circle! They also have necklaces ($18-20), and you can get one half off using code FBHEART50 (valid until January 31, 2016).
Choice Organic Teas
Listen, I saw ‘contains caffeine’ and thought ‘yep, sounds good to me!’ Even better though, it’s fair trade certified and USDA organic! You can learn more and purchase Choice Organic Teas here.
Thank you cards
Every Faithbox includes something to encourage you to do random acts of kindness. These are awesome! Some cards have a simple ‘Thank you’ and others say things like ‘You are loved by me’, ‘You’re my favorite’, and ‘You are my #1’ …and I’m already thinking of some of the wonderful people in my life who might be getting one of these! (Don’t start checking your mailbox yet, I have FIVE kids for goodness sake – give me some time!)
Everday Faith: Transformation
(Daily Devotional for January 2016)
Some days in this cute little book have a Bible verse/quote, others include a question and space to take notes. Short enough to realistically stick with it (yes, even for me!), and enough meat to really help refocus the day!
Horacio Planner
Five kids, four in school, a new business, a blog. I. am. busy. And nothing gets done around here unless I write it down! I am so excited about this planner! Not only does it have normal planner stuff, it has a place to write your Bucket List for 2016, Dream Planning Time Table (including a place to write small steps!), Heart Check, Generosity Planning, and Praise Reports!
You can preorder this amazing planner here ($37), and use code preorder to get 20% off…
OR you can just go to the Faithbox website and order the January box! You can get everything you see here for $25 (+$5 shipping)! Quantities are limited for past boxes, so hurry over to get yours!
While you’re there, you can also sign up for a Faithbox subscription!
They have 3 options for subscriptions:
Month to Month: $20/box (+$5 shipping)
3 month plan: $57 (+$5 shipping month)
1 year plan: $204 (+$5 shipping month)
Get 10% off until January 31, 2016 with code NEWYEAR16!
I’m so impressed with this company! And if you read my post earlier this week about Enzo, you know this couldn’t have come a better time for me. Nothing like getting a box of inspiration in my mailbox! These would make incredible gifts too! Anybody that you know that needs a little encouragement (aka: EVERYONE) would love to get one of these in the mail!
I hope you’ll all head on over and check them out!
Oh, and I almost forgot… Faithbox has teamed up with Rice Bowls and provides THREE meals to hungry children around the world for every box shipped!
 *I received this box to review at no cost to me, but the opinions are all my own. This post may contain affiliate/referral links and I will receive a small compensation if you make a purchase after clicking them.*

Faithbox - Embrace Your Faith Today!

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Stitch Fix #9

***This post contains affiliate/referral links and I will get credit and/or make a small commission if you make purchases after clicking these links, but the opinions in this post are ALL my own!***
If you aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, it’s a personal styling service. You fill out a style profile and link your style pinterest board. (Here’s mine!) They send you 5 items to try on at home, and you only pay for the items you keep. They charge a $20 styling fee, but it’s applied to any purchases that you make. I’ve only had one box where I didn’t keep anything and lost the fee. Several times I’ve kept all 5 items, they give a 25% discount when that happens! You can sign up here!
My last fix came at a busy time for us. I barely got it all tried on before it was time to checkout and send back the things I didn’t want. So, unfortunately, I didn’t get to post about that one. I kept a mustard yellow infinity scarf that I’ve already worn several times and LOVE!
On to this month… I asked for legging ready tops and wintery dresses.Here’s the note from my stylist, Julie. I’ve had her for most of my fixes and she does a great job listening to my requests and finding things I love!

… and here’s this month’s style card!
RD Style Jana Poncho Pullover ($78)
Leggings from Two Scrambled Eggs
Booties from Relish Clothing boutique, but I don’t think they’re available there anymore. I found similar ones on Amazon!
Mom Bun courtesy of sharing my bed with 4 kids last night!
 This thing is super comfortable and the perfect length for leggings… but I don’t love the super high side slits. I know this is a trend right now and maybe I’ll come around… maybe. Not today though; it’s going back.RD Style Angus Split Back Mixed Material Sweater ($68)
Romolo Munroe Feather Pendant Necklace ($28)

 This shirt is very soft and a great length for what I was wanting. I love the color too! Unfortunately, I do NOT like the white elbow patches or how the white in back accents the biggest part of me, the BOOTY. If this one had been solid blue all over, it would be mine! Sadly, it’s also going back. The necklace on the other hand, is already in my closet. I love long necklaces and just broke one of mine… so happy to have a replacement!Skies are Blue Treasa Dress ($68)
Leggings from Two Scrambled Eggs
Booties from the Relish Clothing boutique

Every picture I took in this dress is blurry, because I was constantly wriggling around trying to make it fit right. It just wasn’t working. I wanted it to work SO bad. I love the plaid and I LOVE this style. Unfortunately, the sleeves were super tight and the belly area puffed out a little more than I’d like. I can’t have people speculating about baby #6 (not happening!)

19 Cooper Clemency Split Neck Tunic ($68)
Leggings from Two Scrambled Eggs
Boots from Charming Charlie about 3 years ago.

Truthfully, I hated this one out of the box. I just thought it looked kind of old. But when I tried it on and took pictures I kind of like it… not sure I $68 like it, but I’m considering it…

Overall, I’m very happy with this box. Julie gave me exactly what I asked for… just minor details on a few things and the fit of that cute little dress are keeping me from buying more. We’ll get ’em next time, I’m sure of it!

Are you ready to give Stitch Fix a try? Click here to get started!

Still deciding? Check out some of my other Stitch Fix reviews to see more of what they have to offer!

Stitch Fix #7
Stitch Fix #6

 


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Finding JOY in sadness: a quick Enzo update

Enzo fell and smashed his face on the floor last Tuesday night. He had to get 7 stitches in his forehead. On Thursday, he fell again… busted several of the stitches from Tuesday night. The ER doctor couldn’t even stitch it the second time; because, honestly, there wasn’t much skin left to stitch. On Friday, his new seizure helmet came in the mail. He hates it. I hate it. But I have to force him to wear it as much as I can, so (hopefully) his head can heal. Yesterday morning he was wearing his helmet, had a seizure, and split his top lip. I am so tired of him being hurt, having to clean up his blood and hear his sad little cries. It’s not fair. He should be healthy. He should be normal. He just should.

(For those that don’t know Enzo has epilepsy related to a genetic mutation on one of the Sodium channels in his brain – SCN1A)

More days than not lately, I’m struggling, I’m scared, and I’m frustrated… it’s paralyzing. You know what keeps my feet moving forward? This life and these struggles are temporary. And worry and fear are human nature, MY nature, but ‘God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind‘ (2Tim 1:7). The Holy Spirit that dwells inside of me gives me the strength to find joy when the world says I should feel sorrow, to find peace when I’m told to feel angry. When you ask how we’re doing and I say “good”, I mean it. The God that created the universe loves Enzo more than I know how to. He has a plan for his life and for mine. How is there not comfort in that?

Don’t be fooled into thinking that I’ve got it all figured out. I don’t. When Enzo busted his lip yesterday, I sat on the couch and cried like a baby for a good 30 minutes before I thought ‘hmm, this might be a good time to talk to God.’ And 30 seconds later 2Tim 1:7 was in my head. I didn’t even know I had that verse memorized; I guess I really didn’t. I had to google to find the location of the words in the Bible. That’s how God operates. He knows my need before I ask and is ready to set me straight, giving me just the right words at just the right moment.

Thank you all for following our journey through this. Please continue praying for healing for Enzo, that he will wear his helmet, and that we stay full of the kind of power, love and soundness of mind only God can provide.

UPDATE: His friends at school told him he looked like Lego man in his helmet, and he thought that was pretty cool!

 

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